DUBOIS – Saturday marks the 110th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America.
“As the nation’s top youth-serving organization, the BSA continues to educate on the principles of scouting while creating value for thousands across the country,” said Gregg T. Bennett, scout executive and chief executive officer of Bucktail Council, Boy Scouts of America.
He said the Bucktail Council will celebrate this special occasion by hosting hundreds of cub scouts at this year’s Cub Scout Klondike Derby.
Events planned range from playing the game, Ga-Ga Ball, to throwing tomahawks and from sled-racing to shooting slingshots.
Bennett said that troops, packs, crews and posts alike will also celebrate this momentous occasion in a variety of ways this month.
From serving in religious ceremonies for Scout Sunday to celebrating the anniversary at local Blue and Gold banquets, he said scouts will have the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences.
According to Bennett, scouting in the Bucktail Council continues to grow, as the council saw a membership increase for the eighth time in the last nine years.
To deliver the excitement and a sense of adventure, he said the Bucktail Council provides and maintains Camp Mountain Run, a 380-acre outdoor education center near Penfield.
He said scouts attend week-long camps there in the “pristine wilderness.” Scouts are also able to test their skills through the various events and activities that are held year-round at the facility.
“Studies show kids in the scouting program do better in life, stay in school longer, do better in studies and are less likely to get into anti-social behaviors such as bullying, drugs and crime,” Bennett said.
“Children who go through the scouting program have opportunities to discover new interests and skills. In scouting, through the merit badge program, many young people discover an early interest that often leads to a life-long career or hobby.”
Several community leaders and executive board members also reflected on their scouting experience.
“I learned at a very young age the importance of being able to work with others as a team and not only sharing responsibility as a leader, but to accept and be accountable for my actions as well,” said Deacon Robert DeNoon.
Clarinda Darr added: “I always believed the principles of scouting echoed the I-beams one should use to build and fortify your life, your family, your being/purpose.”
Dr. Keith S. Wolfe said he’s seen his two sons “learn responsibility, commitment, discipline, initiative, social skills and a myriad of other invaluable life lessons … all while having the time of their lives.
“My only regret is that girls were not part of the program while my daughter was younger. Scouting has truly changed and shaped the lives of our whole family.”
Bennett said the BSA’s vision is to be the most ethical, engaging and fiscally-sound youth development organization in the communities that it serves.
He said BSA understands that not every youth will be in scouting, but believes that every youth should have the opportunity to be in scouting.
“We imagine a world where schools and scouts work side-by-side to promote not just learning itself, but [also] a life-long passion for knowledge and education,” Bennett said.
“Scouting is always seeking to partner with service, civic groups, churches and educational and patriotic groups to serve as partners in delivering the values of scouting to young people.”
If you are an interested parent or involved with an organization that would like to hear more about how you and your group can help, please contact the Council Service Center at 814-371-5650.
For families seeking a local pack or troop, visit beascout.scouting.org and enter your zip code or call the Council Service Center.